Thursday, September 8, 2016

House of Eire by June Gillam Interview, Giveaway & Review

Book Description for House of Eire:

In House of Eire, Hillary Broome, a reporter-turned-ghostwriter from Lodi, California, and her detective husband Ed fly to Ireland—Ed for a gang conference in Dublin and Hillary to research her ancestors in Galway. Hillary plans to meet up with her friend Bridget, who’s pushing a greedy developer to include a memorial museum inside his proposed Irish theme park. As Hillary travels through Ireland and learns more about her friend’s crusade, she uncovers secrets and mysterious forces nudging her to fly away home.

Praise for Hillary Broome Novels

House of Cuts
A maniacal butcher, a journalist/teacher with a shameful secret, and a cigar-toting detective set the stage for this psychological thriller, the first in a series of Hillary Broome novels. Set in California's Central Valley, House of Cuts involves suspense, intrigue, and a burgeoning romance. My favorite things about this novel include the dialogue, the wonderful details, and its sense of place—from the lush walnut orchards of Morada, CA, to PriceCuts, what Gillam terms the "24/7 machine," the kind of superstore familiar to any modern reader. I also enjoyed the fact that eight of the fifty-one chapters are told from killer Melvin's point of view so that I was able to get a first-hand glimpse into his demented, mother-obsessed mind.
~Candace Andrews, author of High Tides: Wading Through Depression—Every Day

House of Dads
One of Gillam's strong virtues as a writer is her ability to enmesh you, the reader, in the many layered action of the story until you become that close and helpless bystander who must live every unspeakable thing out with the characters. Too bad about the hundred things and obligations with their gummy fingers on you. Too bad until the story is finished, for you are not free to return focus to your own life, not yet. When you close the book at last, it is with a sigh of relief and gratitude and satisfaction that YOU don't have to live out such things yourself as you and the characters have experienced together. Oh, but all will linger in your mind. And at the same time, you will already have an eye out for the next Hillary Broome adventure!
~Zoe Keithley, author of The Calling of Mother Adelli

House of Eire
Hillary Broome returns to her Irish roots to uncover not only her family's history, but the Emerald Island's betrayal of its own people. This poignant story taps into the yearning we all have to uncover our beginnings. We try to carve away the protective facades of civilization but often are left naked and fatally exposed to the unexpected. June Gillam presents a fascinating tale of the past clashing with the present. It's a story of lost love, murder, magic and ghosts in the fairytale land of the shamrocks.
~ J. J. Lamb & Bette Golden Lamb, authors of the Gina Mazzio RN "Bone" series

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble

Author's Bio:

June Gillam teaches literature and writing at a Northern California Community College. She describes this series as psychological suspense novels in which Hillary Broome, reporter and ghostwriter, fends off complex villains of many kinds: a berserk butcher, a demented daughter and a haunted theme park developer.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a  writer?

When I wrote my first poem after the birth of my third child. I wanted to tell my stories but I only could listen to others, somehow. I had not grown up in a storytelling family. The poem was titled “The Listener.” Decades later, I had written dozens of poems, compiled a creative writing master’s degree project from them and realized they all wanted to be stories, so I started in teaching myself to write stories.

How long does it take you  to write a book?

I started my first novel in 2005, when my husband was suffering severe complications from diabetes. I worked on the novel as a sort of break, an escape from my real life in which Jerry was in a coma for a month and had to have his left leg amputated above the knee. He never complained and was a joy to be around, but two and a half years later he passed away. A year or so later, I realized that first novel was really two different stories and so the Hillary thread became that series and the other part of that first novel has a character named Amy who is still waiting for her story to be told—I think in a stand-alone novel titled Cup of Stone.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write 99 percent of the time right after waking and downing that first cup of black brew with milk that lets me hang on—I write for an hour up to three or four at most, before my critic wakes up. The mental energy wans after then and I need to break for the gym or other kind of activity to give my brain and emotions and soul a rest. I can’t seem to write all day long, which makes me sad. I can and do edit and correct later in the day though—my alert critic is most welcome then!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I need all my writing pages and research items out in plain sight—I can’t deal with filing things away—I’m ultra right brain in that regard and so my writing room is a jumbled mess of stacks of papers and books and items like a candle from the gift shop of St. Mary’s Church in San Francisco—this candle belongs in Amy’s novel built around her character who came to me in 2005 but whose story has still not seen the light of day.

How do books get published?

OMG.  For my Gorilla Girl Ink, first the seed thoughts, then the ultra rough drafts, then the organizing efforts on giant Post-It sheets, then running chapters by my several critique groups, then sorting the chapters into the best order, then listening to the whole manuscript of 60,000 plus words through a text to voice tool, then printing out copies to give to beta readers, then making more changes from those the readers’ suggestions, then sending the MS to paid editors—at  least one of these, sometimes two or three, then getting the cover artist to create the cover, then writing the front and back matter, then sending it all to my formatter, then finally uploading to Amazon’s Create Space and to Kindle and later getting a producer for the audio book, then I start the big job of marketing!!!!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Traveling to and living in and working in the settings. Lots of online research, also letting the issues I care about rise from inside, being open to characters’ surprises, to linking thoughts and actions and people into the threads already going. It’s a bit like making cotton candy, letting the sugar spin out into threads until a huge mass is built, then handing it over to the customers, hoping to make them happy.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Be with my family—I’ve got lots of children and grandchildren and lots of writer friends who feel like family. I love the energy around writers and supporting my fellow writers in groups. I like interacting with readers at events such as the Authors Booth at the California State Fair.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Write, write, write—believe in your writing’s value—save it too, or be sure to let it live in your heart. Just today I went and looked up a poem published as a winner in 1980, looked it up because now I saw that poem’s character rising up in House of Hoops the novel I’m writing now. Lovely to connect that way with my former inspirations and passions. Writing is large—let yourself stay open to the growth inside you as you go along. Love your life.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~Facebook

My Review:
This is a great mystery in the land of Ireland. I enjoy when an author can change locations and still bring in the same great cast of characters, then I am hooked. I really enjoyed the "ghost" plot and I hope that the author keeps a hint of it in her future books. Especially the ones in this series. Even though this was a series, I read all three books. I did not think that there was missing information, but rather like watching a previous series of a television show. Basically just background. The end was good, and I can not wait for the next book. I also really enjoyed how the author included a lot of family in this story. Her ancestors, are only the beginning. I am giving this book a 4/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.


Win a copy of House of Eire (print or gifted Kindle - open internationally) 10 winners total
Ends Sept 24

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  1. Thanks for the wonderful review! Yes, Hillary and family are growing and finding new adventures in House of Hoops, Book 4, set in Lodi and Hawaii this time and focused around basketball at many levels including NBA.

  2. I'm about a quarter way through writing House of Hoops and expect it released next June.